Head of School Update, Feb. 14

Happy Chinese New Year

It was a busy and memorable day at SCIS.

A big thank you to all the parents who attended our assembly and Lower School Temple Fair – and especially those parents who donated their time and energy to running a station. The Temple Fair was such a big success for the Lower School students, filled with hands-on learning.

This week has seen a celebration of Brazilian Carnival and Chinese New Year. As a parent myself, I’m grateful for the diversity of SCIS – and the parents who take pride in sharing their culture – to give all of our students an exposure and experience that they would otherwise miss.

There is something special about any cultural celebration in a school with 45 nationalities. Today in our assembly, I shared with students that the first step of celebrating is appreciating. Living in China in the year 2018, attending SCIS, and experiencing a Chinese New Year celebration that is thousands of years old is a humbling experience. It makes you appreciate where you are in place and time.

Needless to say, the day was fantastic – and I want to share a special thank you to our Mandarin faculty who led the planning and preparation with students. All the fun is more than a little tiring!

I’m sure we are all ready for a short vacation; I know I am.

On behalf of the entire faculty, I hope your Chinese New Year vacation provides you with time to recharge and reconnect with family. 

In the meantime, enjoy some photos from around the campus today.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Photos From Around the School

Our HS Girls showcase their dance routine.
Upper School Strings
The start of the Lion Dance
The assembly was led by many of our 5th Grade MCs. Great job to all!
SCIS students kick off the assembly with drums.
Upper School lunch activities
Ms. Scheiner “brushes” up on her calligraphy.
Sarah on the Chinese Yo Yo…
… and Ms. Shanks gives a try as well.


Unofficial champion on the chopsticks !
Our Lower School Temple Fair featured activities for students…
…and parents.
Behind the scenes of shadow puppets. Who knew they were laughing back there the whole time?
The Temple Fair featured some Chinese hackysack
The morning started with a showcase of the Olympics. (Canada won the curling!)
All that action can certainly be tiring!

Enjoy a restful vacation everyone!

Head of School Update, February 13

Health Notice

Dear Parents,

I am writing to inform you of a health and safety issue.  This morning, I was alerted to the fact an individual was working at the school yesterday fell ill, left school, and was diagnosed last night with the H1N1 (Swine Flu).  The employee was in contact with the ECE floor/children. We have taken a number of preventative measures, outlined below. But because the H1N1 Flu is contagious, we wish to notify everyone of this event.

Our entire staff, and especially our nurse, are diligent in monitoring the situation. Thus far, there have been no student cases identified.   While no students have been affected, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and the steps that SCIS is taking.

  • SCIS has initiated our emergency cleaning protocols:
    • More frequent cleaning of “High Contact Surfaces” (door handles, toilets, soap dispensers, toys, etc.) during school hours
    • Increased ventilation procedures (this is the intake of outside air into our building which now takes place nightly) 
    • Increased cleaning procedures by the transportation and cafeteria providers 
  • What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
    The symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in people include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu with respiratory symptoms but without a fever. A more detailed description of the H1N1 Flu is described at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm
  • Our nurse performed a temperature check on every ECE child this morning. She will continue to be a resource for students who are not feeling well. She will contact parents if a child has a fever or feels nauseated.  If a child is feeling ill, please have the child stay at home.
  • We have asked faculty to continue to reiterate healthy habits (covering mouths when coughing/sneezing, hands/fingers/toys/pencils out of our mouths, etc.) and be additionally diligent on the frequency and quality of hand washing routines.  We ask parents to do the same.
  • We will continue to monitor the situation and ask parents to do the same.

Thankfully, we do not see any examples of this sickness taking place at SCIS. Nevertheless, I wanted to share it with all of you to simply raise awareness.

Please keep yourselves healthy. Eat well, drink lots of water, and stay active in your own healthy habit routines.


Derek Luebbe
Head of School, SCIS Pudong

Special Dress Day: February 14


To celebrate CNY, tomorrow is special dress day. Students can wear red to help celebrate. Jeans or khakis are fine.


Today at the Pudong Campus

We had some great experiences for students today, the sharing the diversity of our international school.

In preparation for tomorrow’s Chinese New Year Celebration, our Upper School students benefited from the expertise of professionals who shared the crafts of Chinese Yo Yo and Kung-Fu with our students. As a reminder, our All-School Assembly is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:00 pm. Parents are invited. Starting at 1:30, Lower School students and parents will take part in our CNY Temple Fair located in the Black Box.

Also pictured below some fantastic photos from our fantastic parents from the Brazillian community. These parents, along with some Brazillian dancers, worked with and performed for all of our students to celebrate Brazil’s Carnival!  They were assisted by the Upper School band, and brought some lively festivities to our afternoon.

It was a great afternoon to be an SCIS Dragon!  Thank you parents.





Middle Schoolers try their luck with Chinese Yo-Yo
Here’s the start…
… and here’s the finish
Kung Fu
Balance is the key
Carnival Festivities!
Our Brazillian dancers working with our Lower School students.
Dancers in action.
Our Upper School band in action with some swing music.
Learning to samba


Head of School Update, February 9

Dear Parents,

As you may have read in my earlier post, we are celebrating Chinese New Year on Wednesday Feb. 14. Additionally, we have changed the date for our International Food Fair to Sunday March 18. Details of both events are shared in the most recent post.

Hoping you enjoy some of the action photos from around campus this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Derek Luebbe,
Head of School, SCIS Pudong

Photos From Around the Campus

MS Girls Volleyball Action on Thursday vs. Dulwich.
Students sharing their work  and their thinking is what makes them authors – and what makes it a celebration.
Mr. Schultz learns how to make cookies.
It was a fantastic parent turn-out in Ms. McCabe’s class. We are lucky to be an environment where 1) parents get involved, 2) our students get to share their successes with all parents – not just their own!
Badminton in the Gym
Badminton In The Gym ???
Upper School Students Practice Their Dumpling-Making Skills

Head of School Update, February 8


Dear Parents,

As we prepare for the upcoming Chinese New Year Break, I wish to share some important information about upcoming activities.

Chinese New Year Celebrations: March 14

As you know, Chinese New Year is right around the corner. Our big celebration day will be Wednesday, February 14. This will be  free dress day, and we encourage students to wear red to celebrate.  Our activities this year have changed from previous years. Instead of a long assembly for the entire school, we have shorted the assembly to run from 1:00-1:30 pm. Following the assembly, Lower School students will be involved in our first-ever Temple Fair from 1:30-2:30. The Temple Fair allows our Lower School students to have a hands-on experience participating in a host of cultural activities led by our parents and outside presenters.   Our Upper School students have already begun some of these special presentations in their classes (see the photos below) and these activities will continue next week. From a parent’s perspective, all parents are invited to attend the day, but Upper School parents should be aware that the assembly will not be as long as in previous years due to the change. I know that Lower School Liz Gale will be sending home more detailed information to Lower School parents tomorrow.

Change of Date: International Food Festival Now March 18

In an attempt to encourage participation by avoiding a few other school activities, we have moved our SCIS International Food Festival to Sunday, March 18 from 11:30 am-3:00 pm. (It was previously scheduled on March 17.) To encourage your participation, the school will be providing free bussing to this event from a few pick-up points around the city.

This will be a fun-filled day for families with food, drink, booths, games, and entertainment. Most importantly, it’s a great way for us to celebrate the diversity represented at SCIS. We encourage families from each country to come together to set up a table to share special food and perhaps some quick games, facts, or  special elements that make your ‘home’ special.

We will be sharing more information after the Chinese New Year, but for now, download the flier below and save the new date!

Food Festival and Open House

We will also be hosting an Open House to coincide with the International Food Festival. So if you would like to invite a non-SCIS family to join in the celebration, please contact Laurie Luebbe at lluebbe@scis-china.org to reserve a spot.

Some Photos From Around Campus

The Upper School students engage some Chinese Culture with the help of some visiting specialists in preparation for Chinese New Year.

Chinese Calligraphy
Dumpling making
The finished product.
MaiTian starts Thursday off right – with a bagel sale! It was such a hit that we had to revive our fast-food service skills to ensure we got through the hungry customers in time!

February 2, Head of School Update

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Things are back in swing in 2018!

A few new students continue to trickle into campus, making 39 new students who have joined SCIS in January. I want to officially welcome all the new families and students to the SCIS Community. It marks the largest growth in six years, which is always a good sign that Shanghai is on the up-swing! Our enrollment continues to grow, and we are now at 360 students.

Enjoy the articles below and your weekend ahead!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School, SCIS Pudong

A Growing, and Well-Connected Community

As we all know, transitioning into a new school can be a stressful and confusing time. I’m really proud of our existing students, they seem to intuitively know it’s tough being new, and it’s always reassuring to see them help integrate new students. New families should be aware of the wealth of resources we have to help support the transition. If your child does have anxiety or is having any trouble making connections, please reach out to either of the SCIS counselors: Laurie Luebbe (lluebbe@scis-china.org) in the Lower School or Maja Kelly (mkelly@scis-china.org) in the Upper School.

As a new family, we want to do our best to connect you with our existing school networks as easily as possible. Each Lower School classroom has a SeeSaw group, to stay updated. There are a number of WeChat groups in the school, some sorted by groupings (grade level or whole-school) and some groups share information in a preferred language. However you wish to connect, we hope we have a mechanism to do so.

All of this is truly supported by our Parents and Friends Association (PAFA). We encourage all families to stay actively involved in PAFA. You can reach out to PAFA President Trish Castillo to discover more ways you can help contribute to building a great experience for our students.  You can view the most recent PAFA post on our school’s website. Be sure to check out all that is happening, and pay particular attention to two big events in the near future.

  • Wednesday, February 14: Chinese New Year Assembly Celebration and Temple Fair
  • Saturday, March 17:  International Day Festival at SCIS Pudong

Chinese New Year, Parent Wanted!

This year we will celebrate the Chinese New Year with even more gusto! We invite all parents to our whole-school assembly on Wednesday, February 14. In the days leading up to the 14th our Upper School Mandarin teachers, behind the planning of Ms. Daisy Mi, have arranged for special in-class presentations in class on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Our Lower School Mandarin Team has arranged a Temple Fair to take place downstairs, where students will have the option of experiencing many different Chinese Cultural activities. The Temple Fair is a fun, hands-on way our students get to experience Chinese Culture. All parents are invited. Parents of students in grades PK-KG can come to accompany their child or a small group as they go from station to station. We are also very grateful to the approximately 20 parents who have volunteered to run stations for the students. We still need a few more. If you are able to donate your time, we would love to have you help. Contact Mandarin teacher Olive Sun at osun@scis-china.org to learn more and help out. The more parental involvement, the more opportunities we are able to give our students!

SCIS Competes at the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Tournament

A big congratulations to SCIS Robotics Team, led by Mr. Johnson,

SCIS Robotics Team, problem-solving in action


Mr. Johnson and the SCIS Robotics Team after the FLL Tournament

Students Reflect in the new SeeSaw Phone Booth

Lower School students and parents are well aware of the SeeSaw – our online student portfolio and communication platform to bridge the communication gap between school and home. The newest addition to our 1st Floor Hallway is the SeeSaw Phone Booth shown below. The phone booth is the brain child of Gr. 1 teacher Mr. Schultz. Seeing how much fun students were having reflecting on their work and sharing it with parents, he wanted to create a quiet, fun place where students could go to share their thinking.  Students bring their iPad into the phone booth, press record, and share their reflections about specific pieces of work. The reflections and student work are added to the student’s online portfolio – visible to teachers and  the child’s parents. And the SeeSaw Phone Booth provides just the environment!

Getting students to reflect on their learning is a vital piece of the learning process. “Why did I do this? What do I like about my work? What would I do differently next time? How did this work connect to other things that I’m learning about?”  These are the questions that drive learning, and the SeeSaw phone booth just makes that process a lot more fun for our students.

Reflections happening in the SeeSaw Phone Booth

Other Happenings Around Campus

Grade 5 Students partner with our Nursery Students as reading buddies.
Parents, teachers, and students sign the SCIS School Song at the Lower School Assembly on Thursday, led by the First Graders.
Grade 2 M students, inquiring, building, and reflecting in the classroom.


Head of School Update January 12

Hello Parents, Students, and Faculty,

Happy 2018!  We welcome approximately 35 new students to SCIS this January, the largest growth we’ve seen in six years.

My update will be brief, as I have been off campus during the first week of school attending a teacher recruiting conference in Bangkok. SCIS continues to be well-known within the international teaching community, and this is only strengthened by our addition of the MYP and PYP programs, making SCIS an attractive destinations for many top-quality teachers. I’ll provide a full recruiting update in the near future.

Wish our Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball Teams luck in their ACAMIS Tournament this weekend in Beijing.

The big news today (of course) is the early dismissal due to a power outage.  I am copying my note on the situation below. (It was also sent via email.)

I look forward to the 2nd semester and returning to activity of the SCIS hallways. On behalf of our entire staff, we thank you for the opportunity to work with and help shape your children.

Have a restful weekend.
Derek Luebbe


Dear Parents,

As you know, today we experienced a power failure and sent students home at 2:00 pm. With this email, I want to provide more information on the situation and remind everyone of the importance of our emergency contact information.

Power Outage and Dismissal

The power stopped working at approximately 11:30. This affected all of the power in some classrooms, our heating system and our plumbing/toilets. We immediately called the power company to investigate further. Power company representatives shared that the outage was due to neighborhood construction but were not optimistic that the power could be restored by 3:00 pm.

At approximately, 12:45, due to health and safety reasons, I made the decision to dismiss students at 2:00 pm. We began communicating with families shortly thereafter. When we have an unexpected dismissal, we work hard to ensure that each student can safely return home and a parent/guardian awaits for Lower School students. If a parent/guardian is not present to meet each Lower School student, our bus ayis are instructed to keep the student on the bus and continue on with the bus route. If our efforts to contact the parent are unsuccessful, then the child will return to the school by bus. We will then, continue to call parents until we are successful.

We will continue working with the power company over the weekend to restore power to the school. We feel confident that the situation will be solved this weekend and classes will continue on Monday. If we receive further information that could affect our operations on Monday, I will share that with all of you.

Emergency Contact Information

In cases of emergency, the school will do all it can realistically do to notify parents. Our formal method of communication in case of emergency is by phone or SMS text. Because this situation involved an early dismissal, we utilized multiple communication methods to ensure that parents were informed and children were not dropped off to a home without a parent/guardian present. This included:

  • Phone calls home
  • An SMS text message
  • SeeSaw grade level text messages for the Lower School
  • WeChat groups

As of 2:00 pm, we had already successfully personally communicated with over 95% of families.

Thankfully, this emergency was not a serious one. But it does allow us to test our systems and ensure that we have each family’s accurate contact information. I ask for your help in the following important steps.

  • Ensure that you received a text message (not WeChat or SeeSaw) emergency alert on your cell phone.
  • If you did not, contact your divisional school secretary with your updated contact information.

Lower School Secretary: Vicky Xu vxu@scis-china.org

Upper School Secretary: Jelly Ling jling@scis-china.org


Using a day like today as an important test will make sure that we are better prepared for a future emergency.

I wish each of you a relaxing weekend.   May your power stay on!

Derek Luebbe

Head of School

Update December 14

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

I wanted to share this blog a day early to ensure that parents know that tomorrow is a Green and Jeans Day!  Students are dismissed at 11:30.

The first semester has truly flown by. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your children.

Enjoy your long break and we will see you back in 2018!

Derek Luebbe
Head of School

Welcoming New Families

SCIS Pudong will welcome over 20 new students in January – the most in the last four years.  So, we want to make sure that all the new families are supported in joining the SCIS Community. This includes the opportunity to learn all about the details of living in a dynamic city like Shanghai !  We are putting together a new WeChat group for the new families. (It is optional for them to join.)  On the group, they can ask all the little questions that each of us had when we first moved to Shanghai. We are looking for a few of our current parents to join this WeChat group and support our new families in their transition by sharing information and helping to answer questions. If you are interested in helping out, email Laurie Luebbe at lluebbe@scis-china.org and she will add you to the group.  (Thank you!)


December 8 Update

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

Let me start by saying congratulations to all of our Lower School students for their performances today. It was a day to showcase the Performing Arts.

Our PK students (and parents!) started the day off right with an Art and Artists Gallery Walk. The PK artists shared their work and were able to explain what made it special to them. A big thank you to Ms. Aleksa and Ms. Emily who put so much time into preparing the Gallery Walk so that authentic learning could happen. And, a thank you to the parents and faculty who joined to appreciate and hear from our artists – making the experience an authentic expression of sharing.

Later in the day, three Lower School performances were shared to packed houses in the auditorium. The N/PS class performed an excited dance number followed the Grade PK-1 performance of the “The Mitten”. At 1:30 students in Grades 2-5 shared a lively “The Holly Jolly Pirates of Pinataville” for students and families.

These shows were live-streamed, so if you could not make the live performance, check it out online.

Pudong Winter Festival – Sunday, Dec. 10th 11:00am-3:00 pm

All families are welcome to join our SCIS Winter Festival with a German Market theme to celebrate the holidays.  Our PAFA have worked tirelessly to provide a festive winter environment – come out, relax, shop, and enjoy the SCIS community!

Dragon Cup Basketball – Saturday @ SCIS HQ

Good luck to our Boys and Girls Basketball teams as they are take part in the Dragon Cup on Saturday at Hongqiao Campus of SCIS. We always need more fans, so come out and support the Green Dragons!

Student Transitions

The life of an international school community is transient. The only thing stable is change. As we approach the end of the first semester, we know we will say goodbye to a few families and friends. If you are departing or if you know someone who is, please allow your children the time to say goodbye to classmates and teachers.   Sometimes, saying goodbye is not easy, but it is an important part of a healthy transition process.  If you are leaving, know that you will “always be a Dragon.”  You have left your mark on our SCIS community;  I hope you leave SCIS as a happier, healthier person knowing that SCIS has left a mark on you as well.

Part of the transition process is welcoming our new students – and there should be quite a few of them in January. We can all remember what it felt like to be the family or the new student.  Let’s do all we can to transition these newest members into the SCIS community.

Enjoy today’s photos and the rest of your weekend.

Derek Luebbe
Head of School


G2-5 Winter Concert 1
G2-5 Winter Concert 3
G2-5 Winter Concert 2



PK Art and Artists Learning Celebration set up (Thanks Ms. Aleksa and Ms. Emily!)


Ms. Gale adds to the fun


Lucas shares the day.


Frank and Cody and explore and explain.


PK-G1 Winter Concert

Winter Festival Busing, Broadway Live Deadline

Good morning everyone,

Winter Festival Transportation

Just a reminder of our SCIS Winter Festival this Sunday from 11am-3pm. This is a family-friendly event, and we invite your family and friends to attend in the festivities. We will provide free busing to and from the event at the following locations. For the return trip, all buses will depart SCIS at 3:00 pm. Space on the bus is only for those who reserve in advance. To do so, contact Stu Ren at sren@scis-china.org

  • Shimao Riviera(1 Weifang Road Gate)世茂滨江(潍坊西路1号大门): Depart 10:20
  • Green Court(777 Biyun Road, Lan’an road gate)碧云花园(碧云路777号蓝桉路大门): Depart 10:30
  • Emerald(Emerald Club House)绿宝园会所: Depart 10:45

PAFA Meeting and Broadway Live (15 days left for SCIS discount!) Q&A

Today at 10:00 am there is a PAFA meeting in the main conference room. This is followed by a 2nd Question and Answer Session at 11:00 am about the visiting Broadway Live Theater Experience coming to SCIS Pudong. There are only 15 days left for SCIS parents to secure a discount.

This is a fantastic opportunity to have professionals from Broadway come to Shanghai and work with dedicated theater students from all over Shanghai. We hope you can spread the word (and the website !) to other families in Shanghai.

If you are unable to make the Q&A session but wish to find out more information, contact Laurie Luebbe at lluebbe@scis-china.org

December 1 Update


Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

As we near the near the end of 2017, we have much to be thankful for in our SCIS Community. Enjoy a few pictures from some of the many SCIS events, and be sure to review our divisional bulletins for more detailed information.

Lower School Bulletin            Upper School Bulletin

Enjoy the weekend.

Derek Luebbe, Head of School 

18 Days (and counting) for SCIS Parents to Receive Broadway Live Discount!


Did you know Broadway is coming to Shanghai?   Professionals from Broadway NYC will be leading an intensive nine-day theater experience at SCIS.  SCIS is working hard to make this a reality in Shanghai and promote this unique

opportunity, with a deadline for sign-ups of December 20.  More information can be found here.

Benefits for SCIS families?

  • Receive a $500 discount
  • One child can receive a 50% discount in exchange for some marketing support
  • Spaces are limited. Contact Laurie Luebbe if you are interested.
  • Broadway Live provides access to top-tier universities in the USA, with potential for  visits and possible scholarships in performing arts.

We will host a Q&A for any interested parents on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 11:00 am.

(That’s right after the PAFA meeting at 10:00 am)  If you know of other parents – SCIS or not – please invite them to contact us to learn more!

Bus Safety

Please read the blog post from Nov. 28 regarding changes to our bus procedures that are beginning Monday to enhance safety and help improve bus behavior.

SCIS Celebrates Arts Night

Performing arts plays a very important role in the development of children  – allowing them to express who they are. Ultimately, performing isn’t really performing without an audience. And, that’s where I want to thank all the parents who came out to share in what was a great evening for our SCIS community, and – thanks to all of you – provided an authentic experience for our students expressing themselves!


SCIS Band, led by Mr. Demas
Break-out sessions in the foyer featuring our beginner band students.
Parents socialize and peruse IB Art / Design student work.
A fantastic parent community makes this a great event!

Maitian Giving Tree Delivers Donations to Jiangxi Province

Thanks to our dedicated Maitian parents, we collected donations and were able to deliver those (and other purchased supplies) to students in Jiangxi Province on November 26.

Students in Jiangxi Province welcome SCIS
Maitian Donations: Ready to Go









SCIS gives!
saying Thank You










Maitian spreads the (bagel) love to brighten up the morning. (Proceeds helped fund the donations.)

Boys Basketball Go 2-0

With victories over SCIS-HQ and SAS, the boys varsity basketball team continued improving during the action this weekend.

Coach Volpe and the Varsity Boys, leading at half vs. SAS.


SCIS Faculty – Life Long Learners

Friday, November 24 was a free day for students, but a professional development day for faculty. Pictured below, small groups analyze research on the changing role of assessment during our morning sessions.

Small groups debate and discuss best practices in assessment to help our students.